KDDI (au) of Japan booked operating revenue of JPY2.13 trillion (USD19.5 billion) for its fiscal first-half to 30 September (H1 FY2015), fuelled by continued popularity of data as it added a net 457,000 mobile users and reported that smartphone penetration now stands at 52% of the total user base. EBITDA was up 8.2% at JPY650.2 billion and operating costs increased by 2.4% year-on-year to JPY1.74 trillion, mainly the result of an increase in the country’s communication facility fee as well as higher depreciation and amortisation charges for its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Net income was up a significant 41.9% y-o-y to JPY231 billion, it said, although it confirmed that around half of the rise was attributed to the impact of a one-time extraordinary loss from a year ago.
The carrier said that monthly blended ARPU increased to JPY4,280 from JPY4,220 in H1 FY2014, continuing KDDI’s positive momentum since it reversed the downward trend in Q4 of its last fiscal year. Data ARPU climbed by JPY260 to JPY3,450 while voice ARPU fell JPY90 to JPY1,870; churn was 0.63% for the six-month period under review. In addition, KDDI said that to support its ongoing LTE carrier aggregation (CA) network launched in May 2014. The cellco has installed no fewer than 10,000 base stations and plans to deploy a further 10,000 by the end of the year. KDDI also added a net 260,000 fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions in the period, bringing its total to 3.29 million.